DAESH suspected of chemical attack on US and Iraqi troops

Officials say the attack was "ineffective'' but the group has used similar weapons, against civilians and military targets in the past, with deadly results.

Courtesy of: AP (Archive )
Courtesy of: AP (Archive )

DAESH launched two chemical attacks near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk in March, killing a three-year-old girl, wounding hundreds of people and causing more to flee, Iraqi officials say.

The DAESH terrorist group is suspected of shelling a US air base in northern Iraq with mustard gas. No American or Iraqi troops at the base were injured.

US officials allege, DAESH launched either an artillery shell or rocket into the Qayara air base near Mosul on Tuesday.

Initial tests by US troops at the site of the attack came up positive for sulfur mustard (mustard gas).

The skies above Qayara are black with the smoke from more than a dozen oil wells set alight by DAESH terrorists attempting to obstruct airstrikes as Iraqi forces pushed into the the town on bank of the Tigris last week and took control of the area Thursday.

 The chemical agent tested had "low purity" and was "poorly weaponised,"  US network CNN reported, citing an official. Another official told the network, it was "ineffective".

DAESH have been accused of using improvised chemical weapons in Iraq and Syria for years. The internationally banned compounds have seriously injured or killed civilians and soldiers alike. 

Mustard gas is a powerful irritant which causes severe blistering and the lungs to fill with liquid. Researchers said the agent is easy to produce.

US troops were given special equipment to help protect themselves from various chemical weapons. But most civilians have little to no protection from agents like mustard, which can cause skin to melt off.

Since the 2003 invasion into Iraq, US soldiers have been prepared to don their specialised NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) kits.


TRTWorld and agencies